If you've ever lived in a rental before, you know that things happen all the time that are out of your control. You can't pick you neighbors. The unit you had your eye on wasn't available when you signed your lease. The community pool is crowded on 100 degree days (which are plentiful during a St. Louis summer). There's sometimes trouble finding parking. Whatever. You either get over it and move on, or you dwell on it and let it make you angry.
These places were apparently constructed within the last three to five years, so they're fairly new. They're nice. Nice finishes, but, yes, the workmanship is a bit shoddy in some aspects, like the hardwood floors (some joints and pieces aren't glued in properly, plumbing leaks, etc). But since I'm not the owner of the unit, I don't really care. Whenever something breaks or we find the sink leaking, we call maintenance, and they come and fix it... which they always have, or at least try to the first time, then try something else if they have to come back. Staff isn't that bad, by the way. Kim is really the only one we've ever dealt with, and she's pretty nice.
Our backyard doesn't drain well after a big rain, or when the snow melts in the spring and we get a lake in the back, but no big deal. We stay on our little patio anyways, it's not like we're using the yard. The walls seem a little thin... we can hear the dog bark on one side, and the music on the other... but it's never gotten to the point of being a nuisance. And the only time we ran out of hot water was when we had three guests staying with my wife and I and we were all taking turns in the bathroom. Oh yeah, the neighborhood kids can be a pain, too... playing in our back yard, running in the middle of the streets, deliberately running out in front of cars as if it's some kind of game (yes, I over heard the kids talking about it when they decided to run out in front of cars in the street in front of our townhouse)... and dog poop everywhere in all the grassy areas. We've really starting noticing that kind of stuff recently.
But, all-in-all, the neighborhood isn't too bad... there are a couple cops that live in other units, so there doesn't seem to be much of a safety issue. And one of the older guys runs a neighborhood watch. Over the hill, and down the road are all trailer parks, so the quality of the immediate surroundings isn't that great. But, a half a mile away is the movie theater, Target, Kohl's, Shop 'n Save, Lowe's... and everything else in Gravois Bluffs. Traffic can be kind of a pain when the weekend shoppers flood the Bluffs, but you deal with it for living so close to everything. Sure, some of the neighbors aren't necessarily the best quality of people... not too many young professionals like us, but this place is in Jefferson County, after all...
Overall, it's really not that bad if you don't dwell on silly little things or have no idea what it means to live in a rental. We're probably going to stay for another year before we look to either buy a house (because the rent/mo for our 2BR/1.5BATH townhouse is about equivalent to a $180,000 mortgage) or relocate to another city because of work... but, it's not worth the expense of moving just for the sake of moving to another apartment.